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Football Expert & Columnist
Friday 23 October 2020 11:04, UK
Sky Sports’ Andy Walker offers his predictions as we head into another weekend of Scottish Premiership action.
Kilmarnock vs Hibernian – Saturday, 3pm
Josh Doig will have completed his 14-day self-isolation period after being in contact with Billy Stark, the Scotland U19 manager who tested positive for coronavirus, and should be in contention to start on Saturday after missing out in the goalless draw with Ross County last weekend.
Drey Wright and Jamie Murphy should also be available for selection against a Kilmarnock side buoyed by their excellent 3-1 victory over Livingston. Hibs will be looking to put on a fine performance ahead of their Scottish Cup semi-final from last season – no, me neither – against Hearts next weekend.
Motherwell vs Ross County – Saturday, 3pm
Motherwell were last in action almost a month ago when they were battered 5-1 at home by Rangers. After the international break, their games against Kilmarnock and St Mirren were unfortunately called off due to Covid-19 related issues with the opposition.
Given the increased level of expectation at Fir Park under Stephen Robinson, it’s a shock to see them register just eight points from their nine games. Ross County will be pleased with how the first round of games has gone for them; 12 points is a good tally for Stuart Kettlewell so far.
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St Johnstone vs Dundee United – Saturday, 3pm
From being a team who couldn’t score a goal, St Johnstone have suddenly burst into life with seven goals at home to Brechin City followed by five away at Hamilton last weekend.
Stevie May has found his form and goalscoring touch for Calum Davidson’s men. United somehow managed a draw at home to Aberdeen last weekend, but their form has faded slightly. They still have the prospect of twin strikers Lawrence Shankland and Marc McNulty to threaten defences but they haven’t quite clicked as of yet.
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St Mirren vs Hamilton – Saturday, 3pm
Sadly, this is another game in doubt after St Mirren reported a fourth coronavirus outbreak amongst their squad. This follows last weekend’s postponement of the Motherwell game.
The bad news for Hamilton on the playing front is that they have lost both David Templeton and Kyle Munro for at least three months, and with Brian Rice carrying a very modest squad, it’s a huge blow in his quest to get off the foot of the table.
Aberdeen vs Celtic – Sunday, 12pm live on Sky Sports Football
Remarkably, a win for Aberdeen on Sunday would see them go level on points with Celtic. It has been a magnificent response from Derek McInnes’ men since the turmoil of the early part of the season when they had games postponed due to Covid-19-related issues.
Lewis Ferguson is a regular goalscoring threat from midfield and his strike in the midweek win over Hamilton was a thing of beauty. Celtic will need to bounce back from two successive defeats from Rangers and AC Milan. A third on the bounce would create hysteria in Glasgow and will have more and more fans questioning Neil Lennon.
Their second-half performance against Milan was an improvement, can his side do what champions do and react positively to all the criticism?
Rangers vs Livingston – Sunday, 3pm
Impressive victories over both Celtic and Standard Liege should have Rangers full of confidence – and what a boost for fit-again Kemar Roofe. Not only did he score a stunning goal from his own half to secure the victory in Belgium but Steven Gerrard described it as the best goal he has ever seen live!
Given his career, what a plaudit that is for his returning striker. No doubt Rangers will make another couple of changes, it’s a stronger squad this time round for Gerrard and they’ll be keen to get one over on a Livingston side who managed to frustrate Rangers earlier this season to grab a draw.
Having now played every side in the league, Livingston can be happy with their haul of 11 points, an average of one per game.
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